tv BBC World News PBS March 29, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
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corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." >> president obama says supplying weapons to opposition fighters is on the agenda, and calls on gaddafi to give up power. >> it's fair to say that if we wanted to get weapons into libya, we probably could. we're looking at all our options at this point. >> london appoints a new group to help decide libya's political future as fierce fighting continues across the country. gaddafi's force has launched a ferocious counterattack on the rebels. we report at the center of intense fighting. >> we've been hearing sustained artillery fire and the rebels themselves are firing rockets just up ahead. >> welcome to "bbc news" broadcast to our viewers in pbs in america and also around the
world. coming up for you, with just a month to go for the royal wedding here, we have a list of the do's and don't's ahead of the big day. >> welcome. as fierce fighting continues in libya, president obama has said he has not ruled out supplying u.s. weapons to opposition figures in the country. he also says he believes colonel gaddafi was losing control of his country would ultimately step down. speaking in a series of interviews on american news networks, president obama called on the leadership around colonel gaddafi to make it clear that he had to go. >> the circle around gaddafi understands that the noose is tightening, that their days are probably numbered.
and they're going to have to think through what their next steps are. but as i have been very clear about throughout, there's certain things they can do that will send the signal that he's ready to go. until that time, we're going to keep on applying pressure and hopefully he's going to be getting the message soon. >> if gaddafi ends up in a villa someplace in zimbabwe with no war crimes trial, is that ok with you? >> well, you know, that's not going to be my decision alone. i will tell you, though, that the first step is for gaddafi to send a signal that he understands the libyan people don't want him ruling anymore. that 40 years of tyranny is enough. s and once he makes that decision, i think the international community will come together and make a determination as to what the most appropriate way of facilitating him stepping down will be. >> of course, steve king ston is in washington for us. we were talking about president obama following his address, he
was saying very much that america had done it bit perhaps, giving over control to nato on wednesday. now he's talking about arming the rebels. i mean, where does he stand on this? >> there's not necessarily a contradiction there. here in washington they're asking themselves the question, as things stand, can the rebels defeat gaddafi's forces? there are certainly some signs on the ground that the answer may well be no. so the americans are thinking, well, what happens next? as we heard 24 hours ago, barack obama categorically does not want to put american ground troops into libya. that would be politically suicidal for him one year before he launches his re-election bid. so the americans may feel that the next best option would be to arm the rebels in libya. they feel that that is legal under second u.n. resolution passed through the security council a couple of weeks ago, but it will be a hugely controversial step. a lot of america's allies within the coalition disagree over the
legality of arming the rebels. it will be controversial here in america. it will be people in congress saying, well, who exactly are we giving our arms to? just today, we've had a senior american admiral, the supreme exander of nato's military forces in europe saying that there are possibly al qaeda elements within the group opposed to colonel gaddafi. so it would be hugely controversial to arm those people, and barack obama might wait and see before making a final decision. >> thank you for that. the mission to protect civilians and ice -- isolate the libyan leader dominated discussion at an international conference in london. david cameron said we are here to help the libyan people in their hour of need. they agree that colonel gaddafi has completely lost legitimacy. jeremy reports. >> the u.s. jets returning to their base.
the decision to use air power against colonel gaddafi's libya was taken very quickly, so quickly that they're still sorting out the politics behind it. that was one reason for the london conference. assembling ministers and diplomats from around 40 countries the u.n., nato, arab league, the islamic conference, and the african union to back the u.n. resolutions. though their enthusiasm for military action varies. the u.n. mandate to use force to protect civilians also means taking sides in the civil war. >> we made the right choice. that was to draw a line in the desert sand to halt the murderous advance of gaddafi's forces. >> no one has yet explained when or how that commitment ends. the conference also started the process of offering more political status, more legitimacy to the libyan national council. the closer the rebels have to a political leadership, would like more help on the ground, too.
>> the americans said that they would consider arming the rebels. is that something you would like? >> you can see that just regular cars are fighting with machine guns and etc. we ask for the political support more than we are asking for the arms. but if we get both, that would be great. >> the u.s., france, and britain are talking about arming the rebels. bombs were falling near colonel gaddafi's compound in tripoli again today. the west is avoiding comparisons with iraq. but that war showed bombing alone doesn't guarantee a regime will fall. and the americans and others belief the latest u.n. resolution allows arms deliveries. >> it is our interpretation that 1973, amended or overrode the absolute prohibition of arms to anyone in libya so that there
could be legitimate transfer of arms if a country were to choose to do that. >> france, britain, and the u.s. wanted to end with colonel gaddafi in court or in exile and libya deciding their future. some rebels talk about western style democracy. the u.s. intelligence is wondering whether other rebels want a different future. >> we have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al qaeda, hezbollah. >> at the conference in london, they were careful to say they're only authorized to protect civilians, not change the libyan regime, even though western bombs and missiles have done the colonel's forces severe damage. and the western military mission over libya is at the moment open-ended. this has thrown up a lot of contradictions. this conference may iron so. them out, but even if it can, there's so much uncertainty, but
the future doesn't look easy or clean for anybody involved in the libyan crisis. they're starting a contact group to see what happens next. that suggests they don't expect the crisis to end soon. >> the libyan deputy foreign minister has claimed in an interview with the bbc that rebel forces are losing ground every day. they continue to clash especially along the coast in the east of the country. fighting has been concentrated near colonel gaddafi's hometown. some of the heaviest clashes have been around the town of benjawad. >> the fight was in jawad. for the rebels, this was a rematch. >> they were driven from the town last night. today they were on the offensive
again. disorganized but determined. at the front line, we found them firing their heavy guns. pounding colonel gaddafi's forces with anti-tank rounds and rockets. the rebels aim to take the fight to his hometown. in the last few minutes, the fighting has really intensified. the rebels are trying to push up this road but are meeting heavy resistance from the other side. we've been hearing sustained artillery fire, and the rebels themselves are firing rockets from two positions just up ahead. fighters came rushing back from the front for fresh supplies of ammunition. among them, a wad -- a defector from the army who says he's fighting for just one thing. >> freedom. >> freedom, he says. only free do.
we just want to live how others live. some paused for prayer while the fight raged around them. soon the rebels were streaming forward, retaking the town. just in case, they started going house to house, hunting for any who might have stayed behind. the rebels were jumpy. their victory was tense and short-lived. in less than an hour, they were racing away after heavy artillery fire from gaddafi supporters. while the rebel advance has turned into this chaotic retreat, once again they've been pushed back from territories that they captured, showing how little they're managing to achieve without strong coalition support.
the rebels have been relying on air strikes to pave their way, but they'll need a lot more help if they're ever to topple colonel gaddafi. but for how long will the international community be willing to fight their battles? >> here in the u.k., an investigation has begun to discover how a fake bomb was transported on a g.p.s. cargo plane from britain to turkey without being detected. explain to us what happened there. >> it was two weeks ago that this package was sent from london to istanbul. officials in istanbul airport were suspicious. they opened what appeared to be a box supposedly containing a wedding cake and found inside a detonator, some wires, a timer, but no explosives. now, the police say a 26-year-old man has been arrested in london on suspicion of carrying out a bomb hoax. they say that they arrested an
address on north london. they don't believe it's terrorism-related. it will cause serious concerns about airport security and aviation security and the department of transport says it's investigating. it says in a statement, the government is aware of this incident and takes it very seriously. we will look at all aspects of this incident, including u.p.s.'s procedures. the company says it is cooperating with an investigation. >> thank you very much for the update. still ahead, the world cup semifinal of cricket, a special report of the buildup ahead of wednesday's epic clash. more now on the foreign intervention in libya. david cameron was asked if the nato air strikes were helping the rebel forces topple colonel gaddafi's regime. >> what we're hoping to do is
stop gaddafi from terrorizing and murdering his own people. if you think of those times, it is now a town where people can return to and live peacefully, whereas before they were being slaughtered by gaddafi's forces. so what we are doing is absolutely in the terms of the u.n. security council rezzluge, and i would make this clear. britain or france or america, we have no selfish interests in libya. no strategic interest in libya. this is not about libyan iowa. we want to stop this dictator murdering his people at the invitation of the arab league according to the united nations. that is our interest. this is not iraq. this is not what has happened in the past. this is about a much more multi-lateral fair future where the arab states are asking us to do with them what we're currently engaged in. >> do you have a clear vision of a libya that you want to see?
>> that is for the libyan people to have that vision to, have that view. but i think it's hugely encouraging that today here in london, the interim transitional national council are actually publishing their plan for a democratic libya. >> is there any guarantee that libya will not disintegrate into a situation similar to that of somalia or afghanistan or eventually iraq even? >> i very much hope that won't happen. i don't believe it should happen. what i see is just that, an organization that wants to only be there for the interim. it wants a transition to a democratic libya, and above all, it wants a national libya. none of us want to see a libya divided. we want a whole libya. >> you're watching "bbc news." the headlines for you. president obama has said the libyan leader colonel gaddafi will ultimately step down.
he said he didn't rule out providing military support to the libyan rebels. meanwhile, world foreign ministers meeting in london agreed that military action would continue in libya until colonel gaddafi fully complies with the u.n. resolution to protect civilians. let's get more of the developments in libya now. i'm joined by omar, who has been appointed by the libyan transitional council as an advisor on foreign affairs. thank you very much for joining us. i understand that you've just arrived back in washington having been traveling the globe speaking to a number of leaders internationally to get backing for your party. how has that been going and are you surprised there was no libyan representation at the conference? >> i did hear that there were some. it may not be visible. we followed them very, very closely.
it was a grueling trip through egypt. i traveled by car and it was very, very good trip for me. it was a learning experience. i had the opportunity to view firsthand the devastation that has taken place. also most importantly as i had the opportunity to spend some very quality time with members of the council, the transitional council, and i must say that they got it together. it's a wartime, war zone, but they have war companies, foreign relations committee, relief committee. i was quite impressed and that's what i'm coming back with. hopefully to give the message to the administration here in washington, to members of congress, that folks, we do have the making of a democratic change in libya. and i do believe the words that president obama said earlier today, that gaddafi will eventually be toppled and he
will leave and it's only a matter of time. i don't think the world is going to stand by and watch the towns in the east getting devastated. >> perhaps the biggest challenge now is when that time will be that gaddafi might step down and how you will get there. there has already been highlighted perhaps the shortcomings of the new u.n. resolution as it stands with the limitation of a no-fly zone. are you perhaps hoping that there might be a broader spectrum of military intervention on the ground in libya now? >> no, i don't think that's going to be required. perhaps in a limited way. i'm not a military strategist, but there has to be political pressure, which we are doing. either in washington or in london or in pruss else.
>> i am the ambassador to pakistan, so i should know what to say. >> they indullening in -- indulge in a light-hearted game of futbol. they'll be performing in front of their fans, but also their prime minister. this is where the leaders from pakistan will witness this exciting clash between their two countries. and while the focus is on the players out in the middle, there's attention being placed on the events off the field. this is no longer a mere cricket match, it's about politics and international diplomacy. india has opened the border crossing to enable pakistani fans to come and watch the game,
as long as they have a confirmed ticket. for the lucky few who have made it through, expectations are high. tempered with a note of optimism. >> i think and i hope it will be a friendly match more than anything else. >> it's a chance to turn the clock back. relations have never quite recovered after the mumbai attack carried out by pakistani gunmen. but hours before the cricket clash, an apparent breakthrough as islamabad agreed to allow indian investigators to travel to pakistan as part of their probe. on the ground, security is intense. ahead of the high profile visit. the road to the stadium crawling with police and special forces. everyone scrambling for a ticket and looking forward to welcoming the visitors from across the border.
>> are you going to welcome them? are you happy that they're coming? >> yes, very happy. >> this message is to the community. >> it's exactly the sentiment of a government hoping to exploit and after years of tension. >> there's a royal wedding on the way. we have a rundown of what to expect and what not to expect. there's flash photography in her report. >> weddings are a maize of do's and don't's at the best of times. imagine then the tangle that is a royal wedding. protocol, public expectation, and personal privacy will have to be accommodated. so how will prince william and kate middleton make sure april 29 keeps everyone happy? the guest list, one of the
thornier issues of wedding planning, especially when you're inviting almost 2,000 people. more than 50 members of the british monarchy will be there as well as various representatives of other european royals. there will also be a sprinkling of celebrity. david and victoria beckham are going. also going are elton john and his partner. earlier in the year, the couple were at the wedding of one of william's school friends. much to the excitement of those who stumbled across the royal party. there are some unwritten rules for a royal wedding dress. do think modern, but modest. don't go short or too bare. and if possible, try to avoid the creases that diana had to deal with. >> everybody is thinking, you know, if it's like classic and probably slim, have structure to it. maybe not.
maybe she'll make a big statement. and suddenly it will have an effect on all wedding dresses in the future. >> prince harry and kate's sister pipa have the leading roles. pipa will be maid of honor, trying to stave off reporters at the family home. she may also become kate's lady in waiting, effectively her assistant after the wedding. buckingham palace will be the venue of the two wedding receptions. that should keep the family happy. the first one for a cross section of the congregation including charity representatives who work for the couple. the second, a chance to let your hair down. >> that first reception, a buffet lunch hosted by the queen, comes immediately after the wedding. the invitation you really want is the evening reception hosted by prince charles. it's described as dinner and dancing. that's royal speak for a big party. close friends and family only and strictly private.
>> i think it's really important that they do have their private reception with their best friends and their close family, because they need that kind of human shock absorber around them so they don't get overwhelmed by the whole media circus and attention. and from what i gather from meeting kate, she does have a lot of really close girlfriends and really fantastic family support, too. so i think that sort of gives the idea that she will survive the whole ordeal. >> married life is packed with do's and don't's. they won't always get it right, but this relationship has already been tested over their nine years together. there is a strong belief within the family that this will be a much-needed long and happy royal marriage. >> for a complete rundown of the royal wedding, simply go to our website. you'll get all the information, comprehensive coverage of every detail about the big day. check it out on the "bbc news"
website. >> hello, and welcome. >> see the news unfold. get the top stories from around the globe. and click to play video report. go to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. mcarthur foundation. and union bank.